Six Spanish Dance Études

An exciting premiere composed by Robert Ely

Category: Piano music

Tags: dance, premiere, Hispanic, Robert Ely, Spain, Spanish Dance Etudes, tango, contemporary

Photo: Hulki Okan Tabak

I’m on the edge for premiering Robert Ely’s Six Spanish Dance Études on Tuesday 5 October… (this concert has sold out)

It’s always a special responsibility giving the first performance of a work. With the composer present, I know every wrong note will stick out to him like a shipping container. What’s more, I’m responsible for how the audience receive the work and whether they become interested in the composer.

It’s worth noting that the Spanish Dance Études are not just about Spain: they also have roots in Hispanic countries such as Argentina and Mexico. Spainish culture is rich and diverse anyway – long ago, influences flowed in from North Africa, the Romani people, and Greece among other places. (Source: Grove Music Online)

Robert’s Spanish Dance Etude no.2 is a tango, so I’d like to share this performance by two expert tango dancers. They move with so much agility and expression and I never appreciated that dance can tell so much of a story.

To finish: this fabulous quotation underlines the mysterious, hypnotic power of dance which I hope you will be able to hear in the Spanish Dance Etudes.

A deeply musical dancer, after a 15- or 20-minute sequence, is said to fall into a duende, an intensely focused, trancelike state of transcendent emotion that Federico García Lorca in 1933 described as los sonidos negros(“the dark sounds”) invading the performer’s body.Encyclopaedia Britannica: Flamenco accessed 2021-10-02.

The concert sold out days after being listed – due to social distancing, Royal College of Music events are running at reduced capacity. If you’re interested, keep your eyes peeled as we will be releasing Robert’s piano music on CD soon!